Yorkshire Co-operative Resource Centre

Co-operatives Yorkshire & Humber have initiated the setting up of a co-operative resource, learning and information centre at:

Aizlewood's Mill,

Nursery Street,

Sheffield, S3 8GG

contact Steve Thompson


Co-operators have had no accessible centre for co-operative information and resources in Yorkshire, but things are about to change.

The success of the Co-operative Movement is largely due to the emphasis in education and information right from the start. The reading room and library in the Rochdale Pioneers store in Toad Lane set the mould for access to co-operative education.The Society used to organise lectures and classes there, and it was a permanent resource for learning. Education was placed as a core principle for a very good reason. Without informed members, there would be a failed Movement. Reading and education rooms were a common feature of all co-operative stores throughout the years of the Movement's growth.

Things changed in time. Co-operative education became more centralised and formal and distant.

The Sheffield Co-operative Development Group have provided a room at Aizlewood's Mill for the resource centre. A fascinating collection of resource materials which will form a starting point are already available. This centre will be a learning and information hub open to anyone who wants to develop their understanding of the Co-operative Movement or to gather specific information.

Collaboration will be important to this project and skills will be shared amongst co-operators.

·         A Co-operative archive collection is being developed. This will enable users to get to grips with the Co-operative Movement by tracing its path to where it is now and planning appropriate developments.

·         Users will be able to access specific information to help with their co-operatives.

·         In the tradition of the Co-operative reading and learning rooms, lectures, classes and film screenings can be organized at the Centre.

·         It can be a research facility where there will be a desk for writing.

·         This Resource Centre will work in co-operation with others in the Co-operative Movement who also have resources and a similar remit to education.

·         A lending library has been started, with 22 books, which is already growing. (see book list).

Research materials include:

Co-operative News. 2001 – 2004 some editions are missing.

Co-operative News. 2004 – to the present complete collection.

Journal of the UK Society for Co-operative Studies April 2006 – April 2011

Co-operative Group Membership publications.

Co-operative Group Annual Reports 2007- 2012.

Co-operative Group Sustainability Reports 2006 to present.

Materials regarding:

The co-operative College


The Co-operative Party

Co-operatives UK

Other co-operative organisations

Historic documents.

Yorkshire Co-operative Resource Centre Lending Library

An Inclusive Community With Integrity. (Autobiography of past Managing Director of the Co-operative Bank).

Terry Thomas

Caring And Sharing. The Centenary History of The Co-operative Women's Guild.

Jean Gaffin & David Thoms

Consumers in Politics. Co-operative Party History

Thomas Carbery

Co-op: the people's business.

Johnston Birchall


F. Hall & W.P. Watkins

HIV/AIDS and Co-operatives.

Andrew Bibby

Inside Nationwide. One Hundred Years of Co-operation.

Michael Cassell

New Views of Society: Robert Owen For The 21st Century.

Ed. Richard Bickle and Molly Scott Cato

Our Story. Rochdale Pioneers Museum guide.

Pioneers of Co-operation. (2 copies)

Professor Ian Mac Pherson & Professor Stephen Yeo

Serving The People:

The Co-operative Party from Fred Perry to Gordon Brown.

Greg Rosen

The Co-operators: A History of the Fenwick Weavers.

John Mc Fadzean. Research by John Smith

The Co-operative Revolution. A graphic novel.

The Co-operative Group. Pub. New Internationalist.

The Co-op Legacy. United Co-op.

Ed Glinert

The Hidden Alternative.

Ed. Anthony Webster, Linda Shaw, John K. Walton, Alyson Brown

and David Stewart

The Shop For The People. A History of the Co-op in Hull.

John E. Smith

Trolly Wars.

Judi Bevan

Up Then Brave Women. Manchester's Radical Women 1819 – 1918.

Michael Herbert

Weavers of Dreams. Founders of the Modern Cooperative Movement

David J Thompson

What the Rochdale Centenary Celebrates. Pub. 1944. A National Co-operative Men's Guild pamphlet

A. Bonner.